Attention Conservation Notice: Burblings of joy ’bout the second episode of the last season of Doctor Who
Steven Moffat is a great writer, fascinated with questions of time, memory and responsibility (the Big Themes). In the second episode of the last series of Doctor Who he excelled even himself. Setting the action on the Starship UK in the 30ish century, he explores the concept of the scapegoat, the unspeakable thing that must not be named or remembered, but MUST be acknowledged.
Think Ursula Le Guin’s must-read short story “The Ones Who Walk away from Omelas” with the necessary extra twist.
Highlights- Matt Smith’s anger and disgust at the dilemma in front of him.
The resolution – no hand-waving, no gibberish “reverse the polarity of the neutron flow”, just brains and compassion at work. And a deeply unsettling “whoops, we may have been wearing these war-goggles a bit long” indictment of 28th century humans. Can’t think where they’ll have learned such shitty behaviour…
Other Dwight Towers posts on similar topics
Smug rituals of nauseating phoniness about Australia’s history
Rene Girard and the Scapegoat